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March 13, 2010


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It isn't like prostitution, but it (and sperm selling) should be banned based on a principle that has motivated adoption laws, namely, that while one may sever one's ties to one's offspring, one may not make money in exchange for doing so. Echoing Elizabeth Anderson, family ties are beyond market-place norms -- they ought not to be loosened by monetary incentive.


Something that I wonder: I doubt that most egg donors are tall, thin, ivy-league under-grads. But my impression is that that is a sort of stereotype, and you do see adds for egg donors in places like the Penn student newspaper, often with pretty high payment offered. Do you think that there might be some feeling that people using egg donors are "cheating" in some way, trying to get "better" kids, and that this might lead to resentment and perhaps class anxiety? I can imagine that this sort of desire for people not to "cheat" by paying "exceptional" donors for eggs might be behind some moves to ban such sales, though of course it's hard to know what the psychology behind it is.

baby2mom Egg Donation and Surrogacy Agency

Egg donation is legal, encouraged and permitted in South Africa. Egg donors are given a small donation to partipate in the egg donor program. The egg donation amount is however limited to a marginal amount and the recruitment of egg donors is prohibited by momey.

Kim Krawiec

Hi Matt -- I think you're absolutely right that one of the concerns people express about egg donation is of the "building a better child" type. But this alone doesn't distinguish the egg market from the sperm market. Sperm donation has a quite ugly eugenics-based history, starting with the Nobel sperm bank, and even today sperm donors, like egg donors, are valued for specific traits, including height, ethnicity, and the like. Though, as I discuss in Sunny Samaritans, the traits valued in egg donors seem a bit different from those valued in sperm donors, and differential egg donor pricing is a bit more visible to the general public than is the case with sperm donors, for a variety of reasons.

Praymont -- you are right that this would be Anderson's contention. However, family ties have not, in fact, ever been beyond market pricing norms, nor are they now. This is especially true in the adoption market, a point I discuss here: and here:

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